Today’s world have become extremely fast paced. This means that businesses often don’t get more than a single chance to attract and pull in a customer. First impressions have thus become way more important than before which often depends upon the contact centre operations. It has been repeatedly noticed that success of a business often depends on how superior the quality of service is, irrespective of if it being a small, medium or large sized firm.
Running a contact centre is an immersive process. There are different functions that run simultaneously, and they must run smoothly to bring a superior end result i.e. the customer service. Managing contact centre operations is a huge responsibility and one might face various challenges everyday. This includes call centre shrinkage, disjointed communication amongst departments, faulty technology or hardware, under-equipped agents, underperforming agents and more. All of this will result in poor customer service.
Not being able to meet your monthly targets is a financial loss and moral defeat for everyone. To ensure peak efficiency in your contact centre operations, you might want to look into your primary processes of running things and then move onto the rest. I will share 10 tips that will focus on how to run your contact centre operations efficiently.
1. Hire the right agents and retain them
2. Gather Feedback From Agents
3. Routing and Call Deflection To Other Channels
4. Invest in a High-Performance Contact Centre Platform
5. Consider Self-Service Channels For Reducing Agent Workload
6. Implement Omnichannel Strategy
7. Use Workforce Management (WFM) Tools For Forecasting Trends
8. Have a Rigorous Quality Process
9. Invest in Social Media Management Tools
10. Revert to Customer Feedback and Work On It
Your contact centre primarily runs due to your agents. It should be your first priority to hire people who have appropriate skills for the job. The agents hired should have a strong willingness to provide awesome service to the clients. These people should have the required soft skills to sustain the daily interactions with annoyed or frustrated customers. Apart from having good communication skills, they should have lot of patience and have high sense of empathy. However, agents often face fatigue due to poor management and lack of right technology.
As agents are your most important asset, you must ensure that there is low turnover. Therefore, retaining your agents is a priority. To do so, equip your agents with necessary solutions.
- From automating redundant backend processes like information filling after every call to scouting for information during every interaction, you can help them by reducing unnecessary workload.
- Secondly, you can start a weekly training process to keep your agents motivated and engaged. This ensure that your agents are always aware of what to do, instead of getting burned out in the process of meeting KPIs.
- Lastly, encourage a healthy work environment with proper gamification of employee programs. You can create an agent of the month poll, performance recognition programs, daily incentives or monthly gift hampers for different achievements is also a good way to promote an exciting work environment.
Your agents have the most information about how your customers actually feel, than any market analysis or survey. Agents spend their entire day listening to customer complaints and feedbacks. As agents are at the centre of the entire process, they are the first one to notice different shortcomings in your product or process. Therefore, you must tap into this knowledge before going elsewhere for opinion. Create an internal survey for agents and gather information and inputs. Make sure to look into these and focusing on them.
Losing out on customers clearly indicates inefficiencies in contact centre operations. The first thing to do is to analyze your first call resolution rate and call abandon rate. This will show you, how often a customer rings your number but fails to reach you and most likely never calls back again. Therefore, you must consider call routing and call deflection.
Call routing will ensure that the call is being connected to the most eligible and available agent at the moment. However, some days all your agents must be busy and you customers might have to wait for long. This is where call deflection comes in.
Call deflection is a process of rerouting the customer to different channel other than voice. When the customer is on the queue for more than few minutes, they can be prompted with an option for switching to a different channel for faster resolution. Ensure that the alternative channel is equally effective if not more, other wise it will ruin the customer’s experience.
Call back is also a pleasant feature in which the IVR can prompt the caller to request for a callback after announcing the queue position. If the caller opts for callback, the agent will automatically get the call from the dialer as soon as the queue is cleared.
A contact centre platform often known as CCaaS (contact centre as a service) is a cloud-based solution. A CCaaS solution had all the components that you find in an on-premise package, including data security. It is a cost-effective yet scalable solution for contact centres. CCaaS solutions are more flexible and can be adopted as per company requirements. Few aspects are crucial to maintain a high performance contact centre operations:
So it is obvious that your Contact Centre platform drives you to a higher level in your contact centre operations.
Believe it or not, your contact centre operations require self-service. Customers today are more self-reliant. They are more likely to search the internet for an immediate solution before calling your agents. You can ensure that they find the necessary help without calling your agents. This will free up your lines for more complicated customer issues, which need human attention. Choose a robust knowledge base solution, to entertain most frequently asked questions and other necessary information.
It is important to maintain consistency across all channels used for your contact centre operations. There are two benefits to this. Firstly, personalisation improves Customer Experience (CX) and ensures a smoother interaction of the user with the contact centre agent. Customer history and conversational journey can be accessed to resolve the current query, thanks to omnichannel. Secondly, segmenting customers according to issues and their channel of support helps streamline traffic and clears up congestion. Thus, this clears up the workflow.
Contact centres always have a large workforce. Managing a large workforce will require technological aid to ensure consistent efficiency and productivity. A robust workforce management tool will have all information like your active headcount, absentee headcount, allowing you to gain control over your environment. You can use this data to forecast demand and manage your team accordingly.
Measuring the quality of your contact centre operations is critical to increase its efficiency. So, having a proper quality process with a dedicated QA team is a must.
"If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it" – Peter Drucker.
Usually QA is done on a sampling basis and the few random interactions of calls, chats and emails can be sampled. The feedback of the QA is shared with the agents so that they can improve or can be assigned to relevant training. Using Speech Analytics can get all the calls/interactions verified against the set rules. So, this provides a better insight to all the interactions handled by the agents and can be analysed near real-time.
Social media has become an important part of contact centre channels. You can no longer overlook it. More and more customers are now choosing to share their verdict on social media. These verdicts include feedbacks, complaints and reviews. You must have a dedicated team to scout these inputs and interfere where necessary. You can offer resolution to the annoyed customers and thank the happy ones. This overall improves your customer engagement, leading to better customer satisfaction. Brands with more successful social media presence, have high chances of customer acquisition at lower costs, and retaining the existing ones.
Customers are king and their opinion is what matters the most. Companies often promote different ventures for customer feedback but never really act upon them. Some do not even respond to these feedbacks with affirming messages, which leads to churn. Therefore, value customer feedbacks and respond to them as soon as possible. Subsequently, working on the issues pointed out and ensuring change is integral to organizational growth.
These are some primary pointers to improve your operational efficiency. However, one cannot achieve complete success overnight. There are finer details and developments required to smoothly run your contact centre operations. This requires a perfect balance amongst your operational goals and customer goals. To understand how to improve your call centre metrics and operational efficiency, consult our industry experts.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.